Sunday, November 30, 2014

The day after

Many thanks to Margaret, Kate, Wayne, John B, Sylvia, Missy, John P, Carol, Tina, Vicki, and Roger for helping us celebrate Thanksgiving and John’s birthday yesterday. We know the rest of you joined us in spirit.

Everybody worked and helped, even taking lots of leftovers home, so things were pretty well cleaned up by the time we went to bed. Margaret left early this morning. John and I just recovered and enjoyed the leftover glow in the house.

Again, thanks for making the day so special.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Birthday, John - #80!

We've had a great day today. John says it was the best birthday he can remember. He was born on Thanksgiving Day, but several years after, the holiday was changed from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November. So his birthday couldn't fall on Thanksgiving after that. Since we celebrate (eat) on Saturday, this year OUR celebration fell on his birthday - making our day extra special!

We had a houseful of family and friends, and lots of cards and good wishes. Sue sent 18 (!) birthday balloons. Tina brought a birthday cake and a framed copy of a photograph of John rowing. John & Sylvia brought him a bottle of his favorite bourbon. Sue called and we skyped with Jean. (Margaret and Kate were here.) He got texts or cards from the grandkids. Just great!

We were 13 in all here. We had turkey, dressing, gravy, country ham, grits, scalloped oysters, green beans, corn, raw vegetables, various pickles/olives/etc., three cranberry condiments, rolls, wine, desserts too numerous to mention. Literally the groaning board. Folks took home lots of leftovers, and more will go into the freezer for meals later on. Fortunately, we love all the traditional Thanksgiving foods - whether the first time, or as leftovers in a month or so.

It's quiet now. Football games are wrapping up. We’ve made broth from the turkey carcass. The dishwasher has been run, and all the food put away. Margaret will head back home tomorrow. She's done yeoman work, and is so appreciated. A great day is winding down.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The day before


We had a nice dinner with friends yesterday - the usual Thanksgiving stuff, which we love. But the best part was being with friends and family. Sue and Randy came by for about an hour on their way home. Kate and Wayne are here now - through Saturday night. We’ll have our big Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.

Our Walmart parking lot was full at 7 last night, as was the Target center across the highway. You won’t find me anywhere near a store until next week sometime. John and Wayne went out for a walk and picked up a couple of things at Aldi.

John, Kate, and Wayne went to a local tavern/micro-brewery to try out some prize-winning brews. Obviously, they found some good stuff - and even came home with a growler. They were told the beer would stay good for 5-7 days, but (needless to say) it was gone by bedtime.

We got all the day-before-Thanksgiving prep done, and we’re ready to get stuff in the oven tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Family, friends, and food

Lovely day! Carol
And Stephen, Sue and Randy,
Tina, Kate and Wayne.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you good family, good friends, good food, good books, and laughter


Margaret came over last night, and we made a grocery list and plans for today. This morning, she went to the store to pick up things I had skipped or forgotten to get yesterday. She made cornbread for the dressing/stuffing. I think that was all we/she could do this far ahead of our dinner on Saturday.

This evening was the almost annual meeting of the UTC Lady Mocs and the #4 ranked UT Lady Vols. We’ve done a home-and-home series of games for a number of years, usually with the Lady Vols showing their might over the lesser Mocs. Then two years ago here in Chattanooga, after Pat Summit’s sudden retirement and in Holly Warlick’s debut as head coach, the Lady Mocs played a super game and beat Tennessee. Jubilation reigned! Last season, in Knoxville, the Lady Vols exacted payment for the previous year’s game.

But this is a different UTC team with a different coach. The Lady Mocs came out roaring, and never let up. They led 37-21 at the half, and were behind only once briefly toward the end of the game. The final score was 67-63! And this was no fluke. UTC was just played better in this game. And it was SO SWEET!

Next home game is in midDecember against #5 Stanford.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday and an editorial

Today was a long day - starting with the Y and coffee. The cleaning lady was finishing up when we got home. John and I each had some good cards today - not all the time, but mostly. It is what keeps us coming back.

Then we finished up with basketball - the Lady Mocs vs. the Austin Peay Lady Governors (Austin Peay was a governor of TN in the 1920s). Our gals played awful in the first half, but came roaring back and won 76-65. They play the Lady Vols on Wednesday.


We didn’t see until 10 pm that the grand jury had reported no indictment on the officer in Ferguson, MO. We had assumed this would be the outcome. We kind of thought the grand jury would indict and let a trial take place. We didn’t think there was enough evidence to convict, but that going through the process would alleviate some of the tension. Obviously this is not to be.

We’ve really tried to stay away from the 24-hour cable news coverage on this situation. The racial divide in that community is not going to be healed by this situation, one way or another. And we think the blanket coverage by cable news has exacerbated the situation - and continues to do so.

The problems with racial inequality and prejudice in this country need to be kept in the forefront, so that the situation can continue to change and improve. But I fear that this constant TV presence only foments violence and that doesn’t help anything.

Let’s hope for peaceful, nonviolent protests.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Good eats!

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article in the paper that our local Rotary Club was going to be smoking some Boston Butts and selling them to benefit the local food bank. I placed an order for one, and we picked it up about suppertime Saturday night.

It was, without doubt, some of the best smoked meat we’ve ever had. I don’t think we’ve ever had fork-tender, almost melt-in-your-mouth meat before. Definitely a WOW, and something we’ll put our list for next Thanksgiving.

We had some again tonight. John carved it off the bone, and that’s in the freezer for meals from time to time throughout the year.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving meme

1. Are you celebrating Thanksgiving at home or elsewhere this year? With whom will you spend Thanksgiving Day?

Most of our family dinner is done on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day. We’ll be here at home, with our usual extended family and friends. We’re having dinner Thursday with friends. Our family comes into town on Thursday evening.
2. What do you have for breakfast on Thanksgiving?

Usually something like sweet rolls - nothing special.
3. Do you go to a Thanksgiving parade or watch one on TV?

Neither. There will be football or basketball watched most of the weekend.
4. Do you serve appetizers, lunch, or snacks during the day?

Food happens all weekend long.
5. What do you wear on Thanksgiving?

Whatever is comfortable and clean.
6. What's your Thanksgiving table like -- do you use special plates/silver/glasses, etc? Do you have a centerpiece? A color scheme? Candles?

I use a tablecloth, the “good dishes” (old family Russell Wright), my mother’s silverware, some sort of centerpiece, candles if I think of it and can find some. Definitely nothing “decorated”.
7. Do you serve buffet-style or family-style? What do you have to drink?

Buffet-style. We don’t have room for everybody to eat at one time, so we pretty much eat in shifts or as places at the table and football interest dictates. Drinks are to the taste of the individual - water, wine, coffee, soft drinks, whatever.
8. Once you're at the table, do you say grace or a toast or does everyone go around and say what they're thankful for?

Since we don’t sit at one time, there’s nothing that formal.
9. Do you have dessert right after the main meal or later on?

I like to have dessert later.
10. What do you do with your leftovers?

Eat them, freeze them, send them home with folks. We love all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, so we’re happy to have them any time, and love leftovers.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A learning experience

Our young UTC Lady Mocs
Played against the “big girls” of Notre Dame today.
It wasn’t pretty.
They had quite a learning experience.
The final score was Notre Dame 88, the Lady Mocs 53.
We hope they learned well.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

That was my morning

You know what happens when you carefully plan out a series of errands to fill a certain time span? At least two things won’t work, and the whole thing turns to sh*t! That was my morning.

I was going to the bank, to the drug store, to the library, and end up with my scheduled massage. Well, the bank thing went as planned, and the massage was wonderful. The rest…not so much.

I got my prescription at the drug store, but they didn’t have a knee brace in the size I needed. So I headed to the library to pick up my reserved DVD and kill some time before my massage appointment. It’s now about 9:45. Turns out the library doesn’t open until 11 on Thursdays. !@##$##$

So I head to Panera to get some coffee and read until my 10:30 appointment. I finally got my latte, and then promptly spilled half of it. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

At least the massage was wonderful (as usual), and I did pick up the DVD (of the first season of “The Newsroom”). And then I scurried home to try to stay out of more trouble.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Warmer Wednesday

Lady Mocs 76, Butler 47 - obviously our ladies played very well. I hope they do well against their upcoming top-rated opponents (UT Lady Vols, Stanford, and Notre Dame). We have gotten the extra tickets for the Lady Vols game - John will pick them up tomorrow.


We had a successful (if expensive) trip to Costco this morning. We hadn’t been in a while, so there were a number of things we needed. And we got to check products and prices for some future purchases. Plus we got our usual gourmet lunch.


The husbands of three of our swimmers are dealing with health problems, and one of the swimmers is recovering from hip replacement surgery. And there are our other internet friends who are dealing with health issues. We’ll keep them all in our thoughts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This and that

John got a good report from the cardiologist this morning. He has some irregularities, but it's not typical of atrial fibrillation, so..... They drew some blood to rule out an anemia problem. He's trying him on some medication, too. And he's to have a return visit in three months.

I did the grocery stores this morning, and took my car to be inspected. They're very efficient, and if you get your request for license renewal in by 2 pm (which John did for me on the computer), you should get your new stickers in the next day's mail. So that's done for another year.

We've had some mix-up in ordering the extra tickets we wanted for the Lady Mocs vs Lady Vols game next week. I've got a couple of phone messages out, looking for answers. It's always something.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday miscellany

We’re going to be setting some record low temperatures tonight and tomorrow. At least the rain was over before the temps started to drop. We had 2.25” of rain over the two day period. This morning, while we were at the Y, the temperature dropped 10 degrees - and it never went back up over the day.

John and Margaret were headed up to Knoxville for a Lady Vols game (big easy win over Oral Roberts). I went to bridge, but was still having the same lousy cards I’ve been having. We had two extra players, so when I was going to sit out a round, I left and came home.

Margaret got a big sack of yarn on her latest trip, so now I have a bunch of stuff to play with. I’d best get busy with the knitting.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday haiku

Rain, rain, basketball.
Lady Mocs lost close ballgame.
Rain, rain, but no snow!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Taking Stock Meme

Stolen from: The Blake Collection

Making: hats and socks 

Cooking: made oyster chowder for supper
Drinking: water and coffee (as usual)
Reading: The third volume in Ken Follett’s 20th century trilogy
Wanting: John to get over his cold.
Looking: for yarn to reknit the toe on some socks
Wasting: time, as usual - I’m retired!
Wishing: The midterm elections had gone the way I voted. I wish the idiots in Congress would learn to cooperate and compromise.
Enjoying: the start of basketball season
Waiting: to start getting ready for Thanksgiving
Liking: the idea of leftover oyster chowder for lunch tomorrow.
Wondering: how the rest of the year will go
Loving: our family and friends and good times together
Listening: to BookTV
Needing: to be in better shape
Smelling: nothing, thankfully, but looking forward to the smell of turkey roasting
Wearing: warm, soft clothes
Following: women’s basketball
Noticing: the weather
Knowing: how to knit socks without reading a pattern
Thinking: about shopping lists
Feeling: creaky
Bookmarking: nothing new - e-mails, web cams, fb, senior learn, seniors&friends, blogs, games
Opening: jars can sometimes be difficult
Giggling: with the girls.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Enough said

From A Word A Day:

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power. -P.J. O'Rourke, writer (b. 1947)

p.s. UTC Lady Mocs 49, Villanova 45 in the season opener!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Medical stuff

All that was on my schedule today was the 6-month rheumatologist check. All seems to be going as usual. We talked again about any treatment for osteopenia, and decided it just wasn't bad enough to warrant anything - at least not yet. Keep taking calcium with D and doing as much walking as possible.

I've also been having trouble with my knee, so I asked about that. That's probably just bursitis. He recommended keeping it bent when sitting, heat, compression (like one of those knee "sleeves"), and (as y'all have mentioned) sleeping on my side with a pillow between my knees. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good stuff!

Busy day, but all good stuff.
             After swimming and coffee, some of the gals went to a jewelry show (I came home). Then ten of us met at a local tea room for lunch. As always, good friends, good food, good conversation, and laughter make for something special.
             Shortly after I got home, Rosemary and Daryl came over. Daryl has been painting and had asked if I would critique some of his work for him. It was fun getting to see his work, try to answer his questions, and make some suggestions for how to continue each piece. It’s an interesting challenge to me - looking at work that’s not at all like mine, and trying to see it in terms of the principles of art and composition. I think we all did a pretty good job.
               And then we topped it off by playing bridge for several hours.
How could it be bad?!?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not a regular Tuesday

      We worked at the library book sale this morning. We had customers, but were never swamped. It'll probably pick up some this afternoon. The sale runs through next Tuesday, but this is the only day we've scheduled to work.
      The excitement came after we got home. We had lunch and then I headed out to the grocery stores. Of course, since it was afternoon, there were more people, and everything went much slower. I had to wait in the check-out line in Walmart for ages. But I got stuff, and headed home. When I pulled in the driveway, I realized I had left my purse in the seat of the shopping cart (in the cart corral in the parking lot)!
      I unloaded the groceries onto the side of the driveway and flew back to Walmart (probably getting a ticket from the speed camera near our house). The cart was where I left it, but no purse. I found a parking place and headed into the store. When I walked in, panting and breathless, and asked the lady at Customer Service if anybody had turned in a purse, she asked me to describe it, and then said: "You look like your picture!" She confirmed my name, and then went and got my purse. They said a "regular shopper" had turned it in. Whew! what a relief!
     The whole thing took probably no more than 20 minutes. But the panic factor was major! Then I headed back home to put up my groceries. John had just found the stuff by the driveway and was bringing things into the house - wondering what had happened to me.
     Too much excitement for one afternoon. With any luck, I won't try THAT trick again anytime soon.

Veteran's Day addendum:  The wonderful Yorkshire Pudding has written a wonderful Armistice Day poem in his blog today.  Please click here and take a minute to read it.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veteran's Day

On this day, as every day, we honor those who serve, who have served in the past, and who have given their all.

Especially thanks to our Jesse and Vicki's Taylor.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Baby steps

We got out in the beautiful weather this afternoon.  John is feeling better, and needed to get out after being cooped up in the house for two days.  I just need to get moving.  He didn't plan to do much, and I'm not able to do much.  I know I need to get my activity level up  No promises, but I'll keep trying.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Nothing much

John says he may be somewhat better today.  He did stay awake long enough this afternoon and evening to watch a few ballgames (although he went to bed at half-time of the LSU/AL game).
I managed to do absolutely nothing today - including cold cereal for breakfast and leftovers for dinner.

Friday, November 07, 2014


John has gotten fully into the cold.  He's spent most of the day in bed, asleep.  He didn't go out to dinner with us, and was back in bed shortly after we got home.  I hope he's feeling better tomorrow.  Usually he can sleep it off.  He's already taken many of the OTC meds, plus his prescription inhaler.
He skipped our planned dinner with Carol and Stephen.  Tina picked me up, and we joined them.  We got to hear some about their 3-month cross-country trip.  And I know we'll hear more when John is able to participate.  We always enjoy dinners at Noodles & Pho, and tonight was no exception. 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

1. First walk in the mall is pretty pitiful
2. Mani/pedi is always great!
3. Lovely fall day
4. The yard man came, mowed, and moved around the zillions of acorns and hickory nuts.
5. We both tried to get some trial prescriptions changed to mail delivery/90-day supply.
6. I think we were both successful.
7. Set dinner date for Friday with Carol and Stephen.
8. Sue, Margaret, and Sarah at Niagara Falls.
9. Sad news - next-door neighbors have to sell their house. They can no longer afford the payments and cannot refinance.
10. More sad news - Missy’s mother fell and broke her hip.
11. White Collar starts a new (and last) season tonight.
12. John thinks he may be coming down with a cold. Yuck!
13. Dinner tonight all out of the freezer and pantry. Good!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Nothing doing today.

Massage got cancelled.
Too bad, but rescheduled for
Friday. Still good day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election day

We cast only two winning votes in this election - one was a referendum to sell wine in grocery stores in Chattanooga (beginning in July 2016), and one minor constitutional amendment. 

I've always heard an old Chinese curse - May you live in interesting times.  Guess we'll be having that.

Monday, November 03, 2014


Please vote today (if you haven’t already voted early)!

True, there’s no presidential election this year. But remember ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL! The people you elect to your city, county, district, and state offices have much more direct influence over your life than the President.

Think about it…they decide your sales taxes, your property taxes, the schools for your children, zoning ordinances, libraries, garbage pickup, police and fire protection, and on and on.

In my location, with my political beliefs, I will probably see none of the candidates I’ve voted for win their elections. I do have some hope for a couple of ballot issues. Even with that being the case, I want everybody to vote.

It’s really terrible how low the turn-out is for elections in our country. Let’s see if we can’t do better.


Sunday, November 02, 2014

:Being Mortal"

I’ve just finished reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It’s an amazing look at end of life issues, questions and discussions.

None of us wants to think about death, but - let’s face it - nobody gets out of this life alive. And whether or not we really think about it, we all have some thoughts about how we’d like to exit.

Gawande writes that the medical profession is focused on keeping the Grim Reaper at bay, and rarely gets into a discussion on how to deal with the inevitable.

He posits three questions that we, our doctors, and our families should consider as we‘re nearing that point. I think they’re worth repeating and thinking about.

1. What are your biggest fears and concerns?
2. What goals are most important to you?
3. What trade-offs are you willing to make and which ones are you not?

These are definitely things to think about - before our time comes.


We changed our clocks and smoke alarm batteries.  Did you?